FEBRUARY 13, 2006
Charlie Crist served on various ethics committees as a state legislator and when he became Florida’s attorney general in 2002, he launched the state’s first-ever hotline designed exclusively to address complaints of fraud.
Now Crist, a Republican gubernatorial candidate who hopes to replace Jeb Bush, is in hot water for taking money from two men with shady backgrounds. Ironically, one of them, a Cape Coral businessman named Russell Whitney, has been investigated by Crist’s attorney general’s office for deceptive advertising.
The other contributor to Crist’s gubernatorial campaign is a former Ukrainian government official (Volodomyr Shcherban) charged with corruption in his home country and with serious immigration violations in the United States. According to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman, Shcherban posted bail of $2 million cash earlier this year after being charged with a visa violation.
Both men attended a $500-a-plate fundraiser for Crist that was hosted by billionaire Donald Trump at his West Palm Beach estate.
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